Head coach of the Black Stars Charles Akonnor believes his side put in an improved performance against Sudan despite losing 1-0 in Omdurman.

The result meant that Ghana had failed to secure qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and will have to wait till March next year when they face South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.

The Black Stars had earlier beaten the North Africans 2-0 at the Cape Coast stadium. However, Akonnor stated that in the reverse fixture he saw a much more improved performance.

“If I look at the way we played in Ghana and the way we played here, I feel there is a bit of improvement in terms of containing pressure. Also the way we prepared for these two assignments was not easy at all. At the end, we had the necessary guys we need to be on board. Those who had the chance to play did their part but it wasn’t enough to carry the day,” Akonnor told the Ghana Football Association media team.

All hope is not lost for the Black Stars as two draws or a win will be enough to book a place in the continental showpiece which takes place in Cameroon. Akonnor is confident his side will improve and seal qualification next year.

“We played without many key players like the captain [Andre], Kudus and other people. Looking at all this, I strongly believe that we did well. We [will] learn from these mistakes and in March we have two matches coming on. I can assure Ghanaians that we will do our best to qualify.”

Ghana will travel to face South Africa on March 22, 2021 before facing Sao Tome at home eight days later.